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PA condemns Israel for not indicting soldiers who killed elderly Palestinian 

June 14, 2023 at 10:31 am

An elderly Palestinian man faces member of the Israeli forces as Israeli [HAZEM BADER/AFP via Getty Images]

The Palestinian Authority condemned on Wednesday Israel’s closure of the investigation into the killing of elderly Palestinian American Omar Asaad by Israeli soldiers.

“Closing the file of this crime is an extension of an official Israeli policy adopted by the Israeli prosecution, courts and investigation committees formed by the state to mislead the world,” said the PA foreign ministry. The ministry statement followed the announcement on Tuesday by Israel’s Military Advocate General that criminal charges will not be brought against an officer and a soldier who killed the elderly Palestinian.

According to the PA, the Israeli occupation authorities only formed an investigation committee into the killing of Asaad in order “to mislead countries, the international community and global public opinion by giving the impression that Israel is probing crimes committed by the occupation army.”

The ministry pointed out that all such Israeli probes end up clearing the perpetrators, concealing evidence, and providing an escape door for political and military officials who order the killing of Palestinians. “This incident proves once again that the so-called judiciary system, prosecution and courts in Israel are an integral part of the occupation system, bearing in mind that the majority of crimes are ignored and no investigations are conducted into their circumstances.”

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It called on the Biden administration to investigate this crime, given that Asaad is a US citizen. The State of Palestine, said the ministry, is fully prepared to cooperate with any American investigation to uncover the killers and hold them accountable.

Asaad, 80, died of a heart attack in the early hours of 12 January 2022, after soldiers stopped his car outside his village, pulled him out of the vehicle, blindfolded and handcuffed him, dragged him for several metres and left him in a room on the floor on a cold night. When the soldiers left the area several hours later, Wafa reported that local Palestinian residents searched for Asaad and found him dead at the location where he was held and mistreated by the soldiers, who apparently left him there knowing that he was dead.